Meet the Artist: Fantastical Sculpting with Julie Whitehead Holdsworth

As the annual Deer Path Art Fair is underway, Patch went behind the scenes with two local artists.

Juggling a wedding for one daughter and moving another into her sophomore year at DePaul University, Lake Forest artist Julie Whitehead Holdsworth still managed to show at this year's Art Far on the Square.


Holdsworth's multi-media sculptures have become a staple at the annual event for eight years. Patch chatted with her during the chaos of finishing work for the art fair, and family planning.

Patch: What drew you to sculpting?

Holdsworth: I've always loved art and all different kinds of materials, and then I got into a class with ceramics and clay and I aboslultly fell in love with clay way back in college. As an undergrad, I learned how to do pottery, and from there I started getting away and experimenting with different ways to use this fabulous material called clay.

Patch: How would you describe your style?

Holdsworth: It's pretty outrageous for the North Shore. It's a blend of traditional and contemporary. It's like finger nails on the chalkboard, but there's a real beauty to it. Instead of having a bust of a person finished after scuplting, I'll use mixed media material to continue the story about the person. I was comissioned by a gentleman who was a wordlwide traveler, so I cut up an atlas and put that over his shoulder, as well as infused other passions he had.

Patch: How do people at the Art Fair react to your pieces?

Holdsworth: Your public is your biggest critic, but it's always really fun to see what they go for. I'm always a little nervous because my sculptural work is pretty outrageous for the North Shore.

Patch: How often do you work?

Holdsworth: I work every day. My husband says 'she'll go crazy if she doesn't do it'. The wheels are always turning about different ideas. Imagination—you got to have it.

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